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Overweight and Obesity

Two thirds of men (67%) and half of women (53%) in Germany are overweight. A quarter of adults (23% of men and 24% of women) are seriously overweight (obese).

Overweight and obesity are contributing factors to many health issues and can encourage the development of chronic diseases. Due to increasing prevalence and the associated diseases, substantial costs are incurred for the health and social welfare systems.  The issue of overweight and obesity therefore has high public relevance.

In the framework of the health monitoring programme, the Robert Koch Institute regularly collects data on overweight and obesity. The RKI evaluations do not cover only the prevalence: correlations with other factors, such as physical exercise, dietary habits and social status, are also investigated.


Updated prevalence rates of overweight and obesity in 4- to 10-year-old children in Germany. Results from the telephone-based KiGGS Wave 1 after correction for bias in parental reports.

Brettschneider A, Schienkiewitz A, Schmidt S, Ellert U, Kurth BM (2017) Eur J Pediatr. 2017 Jan 28. doi: 10.1007/s00431-017-2861-8. [Epub ahead of print]

Changes in body weight and obesity status in German adults: results of seven population-based prospective studies

Haftenberger N, Mensink GBM, Herzog B et al. (2016) European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 70:300–305 doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2015.179

Time Trends in Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Adults. Results from three nationwide German examination surveys from 1990–2011

Finger JD, Busch MA, Du Y, Heidemann C,; Knopf H, Kuhnert R, Lampert T, Mensink GBM, Neuhauser H, Schaffrath Rosario A, Scheidt-Nave C, Schienkiewitz A, Truthmann J, Kurth BM (2016) Dtsch Arztebl Int 2016; 113(42): 712-9; DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2016.0712

Applying a correction procedure to the prevalence estimates of overweight and obesity in the German part of the HBSC study

Ellert U, Brettschneider AK, Wiegand S, Kurth BM (2014) BMC Research Notes 2014,7:181 doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-7-181

Pregnancy risk factors for very premature delivery: what role do hypertension, obesity and diabetes play? (Abstract)

Spiegler J, Stichtenoth G, Weichert J, König IR, Schlaud M, v.d. Wense A, Olbertz D, Gurth H, SchiffmannJH, Bohnhorst B, Gortner L, Herting E, Göpel W (2013) Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics 288(1): 57-64. doi: 10.1007/s00404-013-2739-6

Abdominal obesity in German adolescents defined by waist-to-height ratio and its association to elevated blood pressure: The KiGGS Study

Kromeyer-Hauschild K, Neuhauser H, Schaffrath Rosario A, Schienkiewitz A (2013) Obes Facts 2013;6:165–175 DOI: 10.1159/000351066

Attributable Risks for Childhood Overweight: Evidence for Limited Effectiveness of Prevention

Plachta-Danielzik S, Kehden B, Landsberg B, Schaffrath Rosario A, Kurth BM, Arnold C, Graf C, Hense S, Ahrens W, Müller M (2012) Pediatrics 130(4): 865–871 doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-3296

Indicators of Overweight and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors among 11- to 17-Year-Old Boys and Girls in Germany.

Kleiser C, Schienkiewitz A, Schaffrath Rosario A, Prinz-Langenohl R, Scheidt-Nave C, Mensink GBM (2011) Obesity Facts, 4 (5), pp. 379-385.

Risk factors for obesity: further evidence for stronger effects on overweight children and adolescents compared to normal-weight subjects

Beyerlein A, Toschke AM, Schaffrath Rosario A, von Kries R (2011) PLoS One. 2011 Jan 20;6(1):e15739.

Nationally representative waist circumference percentiles in German adolescents aged 11.0-18.0 years

Kromeyer-Hauschild K, Dortschy R, Stolzenberg H, Neuhauser H, Rosario AS (2010) Int J Pediatr Obes. 6(2-2):e129-37. Epub 2010 Oct 15. doi: 10.3109/17477166.2010.490267

Relevance of age-related growth references: variations in body measurements among girls in relation to their menarche status

Bau AM, Schaffrath Rosario A, Wiegand S, Martus P, Schenk L (2010): Journal of Public Health (published online)

Potential determinants of obesity among children and adolescents in Germany

Kleiser C, Schaffrath Rosario A, Mensink GBM et al. (2009) BMC Public Health 9:46 DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-9-46

Sleep Duration and Obesity in Children: Is the Association Dependent on Age and Choice of the Outcome Parameter?

Bayer O, Schaffrath Rosario A, Wabitsch M, von Kries R (2009) Sleep. 2009 September 1; 32(9): 1183–1189.